Manga Realization Zero & Riden
Apocalypse Zero (覚悟のススメ Kakugo no Susume) is a manga series about a pair of siblings Kakugo and Harara who trained to fight against demon monsters that roam in post-apocalyptic Tokyo in the 21st Century. The two siblings were entrusted with reinforced exoskeleton armour forged from the souls of deceased warriors. When Harara turns half demon due to the Kasumi Armour, he turns on their father and decides to wipe out humanity, it is up to Kakugo to defeat him (yes it’s a him) and avenge his father.
Name: Reinforced Exoskeleton Zero / Reinforced Exoskeleton Riden
Line: Manga Realization
Sculptor: Takayuki Takeya (竹谷隆之)
Designer: Yamaguchi Takayuki (山口貴由)
Material: PVC, ABS, Die-cast
Release: Sept 2010
Original Price: ¥6,000 (approx. $73USD / $72AUD)
Height: 185mm / 7.28inches
The packaging design allows you to see all the contents through a large window at the front of the box. There is also a small rectangular window on the top, but you really can’t see much from there. Stylized fonts from the manga adorn the front of packaging, they look great and stand out on the shelves with silver foiled finish. On the back, more manga style graphics and comics boxes showing the toys in action. The only thing I didn’t like was the twisty wires, and there were plenty of them.
Zero comes with an extra head for when he goes into “Kakugo Complete” form, this is when he really means business, his face plate thickens and extra spikes comes out of his armour. Weapons wise, Riden comes with a samurai sword that can be carried on his back, and Zero come with the hip and pipe attachment for his signature attack, not sure what its called though. Both figures comes with extra hands.
The drawing style of anime and manga has come a long way since this series was released in 1996, if Bandai were to release a toy that looked exactly as it did in the manga/ anime, I don’t think it would have turned out very well at all. The Manga Realization toy line manages to take the essence of the character and gives it a modern and realistic interpretation. Both Zero and Riden look great, although I personally much prefer the character design of Riden. Both figures come with die-cast elbows, knees and feet.
Both Zero and Riden have pretty much the same articulation, I have a sneaking suspicion they both have the same inner frame – that’s not to say it’s a bad thing as both figures pose very well. Each figure comes with 21 points of articulation, as well as double jointed knees and elbows. What’s good about the design is that all the joints have a wide range of movement, the only let down here is that they can’t quite make the kneeling pose.
Paint jobs on these guys are very well applied. Nice vibrant glossy coats of paint with subtle shading and highlighting. Taking a closer look, you can see there are almost no mistakes and imperfections. This is partly thanks to the “gritty” paint style of SIC toys, which I quite like.
The obligatory comparison with S.O.G Karas, same scale as Zero and Riden and displays well together. Next is a comparison between the S.H.Figuarts Zero and Manga Realization Zero, similar in detail but the Manga Realization version comes with less die-cast and the scarf doesn’t quite look as good and “flowy” as the S.H.Figuarts version. And the last one just for a bit of fun…Karas vs Riden in a sword fight!! I would so watch this anime!
Let’s firstly forget about the anime/manga and just think about this set of action figures as they are. They are both beautifully made, looks awesome on display and a whole heap of fun to play with. At ¥6,000 for the set, the price is pretty good also. Unfortunately (or fortunately for prospective buyers), this set hasn’t been very well received for some reason and I’ve seen them go on sale quite often, sometimes up to 50% off! Perhaps due to the lack of interest towards the story, but nonetheless it gives you a good chance to pick these guys up for a good price!
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it!